Three Live Music Picks for Mudbug Madness 2015

Featured photo: Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers will perform at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 21 as part of the Mudbug Madness Festival in downtown Shreveport. Photo Credit: Wil Wijnhoven. Photo from the online press kit for Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers.

The 32nd annual Mudbug Madness Festival will be held in downtown Shreveport, May 21-24, 2015. The festival features live entertainment on three stages, food vendors selling boiled crawfish and other Louisiana delicacies, a Louisiana arts marketplace and more. At its best, the Mudbug Madness Festival’s music programming does an excellent job of surrounding the biggest names in Cajun and Zydeco with an array of more progressive, eclectic acts. This is definitely true for the 2015 festival.

Here are the acts that I’m most excited to see at this year’s festival:

Lost Bayou Ramblers
Tony Chachere’s Stage
6-8 p.m., Sunday, May 24
Listen to Lost Bayou Ramblers on Bandcamp

These guys are probably the only band you’re ever going to see at Mudbug Madness who’ve opened for The Arcade Fire, scored an Oscar-nominated indie film (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and recorded a song with Scarlett Johannson. But beyond their crazy resume, I’m excited to see them because of their rock n’ roll-meets-Cajun live performance style. If I were handing out yearbook awards for the Mudbug Madness bands of 2015, I’d name these guys “Most Likely to Use a Distortion Pedal.”

Here they are in action, performing “Blue Moon Special”:

A photo of Jeffery Broussard
Jeffery Broussard performs “Creole Zydeco” on the accordion. Photo courtesy of Broussard’s website.

Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys
Tony Chachere’s Stage
4:45-7 p.m., Thursday, May 21

Jeffery Broussard, One of 11 children of Lawtell Playboys frontman Delton Broussard, was a member of pioneering Zydeco band Zydeco Force. Raised as a sharecropper in Frilot Cove, La. (a place so small that it’s not on the map), Broussard is a fascinating figure – and living history. “Half of the time when I’m playing, it’s like my hands leave my body, I don’t even know what I am playing,” he wrote in an artist’s statement that is absolutely worth reading.

I don’t know what he’s playing, either, but it sounds as if it’s being broadcast from the past. There’s a lot of energy and fun to it, as well, but something about Broussard’s style of playing sounds unlike most any other Zydeco player I’ve ever heard. He says that it’s Creole Zydeco, and that he’s one of only two guys left who play it. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s a great sound.

Cory Ledet
Tony Chachere’s Stage
5:45-8 p.m., Saturday, May 23

An accordion player’s accordion player, GRAMMY-nominated Corey Ledet plays traditional Zydeco in the style of legendary performers like Clifton Chenier. Lil’ Buck Sinegal plays guitar on Ledet’s records, and I’m hoping that Lil’ Buck is in the traveling band (though that’s likely not the case). For what it’s worth, if you wanna see several old timers absolutely destroy a blues number, watch this Lil’ Buck Sinegal video from KRVS. Sinegal’s guitar playing is unreal.

For more info on Mudbug Madness Festival in Shreveport, visit the official festival website. RSVP to the official Facebook event here.


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